North Queensland Cowboys training from 1300 Smiles Stadium. Ben Barba. Picture: Zak Simmonds
North Queensland Cowboys training from 1300 Smiles Stadium. Ben Barba. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Barba must be banned for life

The NRL has no choice but to ban Ben Barba for life. Not for 12 months, not for two years. Life

This is his second domestic violence incident, the previous at the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2013 when photos emerged of his partner Ainslie Currie with a bloodied face.

 

Barba will never play a game for North Queensland. Picture by Zak Simmonds.
Barba will never play a game for North Queensland. Picture by Zak Simmonds.

 

There was huge controversy when NRL CEO Todd Greenberg, the then Bulldogs boss, stood Barba down but didn't sack him. And now the incident at Townsville casino.

Forget the 12 week cocaine suspension at the Cronulla Sharks for his second drug offence.

It's the allegations of violence against women that have rocked the NRL in a shocking off-season of scandal. Greenberg recently threatened to come down harder on misbehaving players.

It took the independent commission to step in and demand tougher penalties.

He told The Daily Telegraph: "If players are convicted of criminal offences that have violence against women, that will now sit at the very highest scale.

 

It’s not the first time Barba has been embroiled in off-field controversy. Picture by Zak Simmonds.
It’s not the first time Barba has been embroiled in off-field controversy. Picture by Zak Simmonds.

 

"We have historically not put the words life bans in place but what we do is we simply take people's registration off them and we don't allow them to participate. There is no place in the game for you."

So here is their opportunity to back up those words and nothing but a life ban will be satisfactory.

Barba hasn't been charged or convicted but surely this is the last straw.

 

Barba was sacked by Cronulla in 2016. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Barba was sacked by Cronulla in 2016. Picture: Alix Sweeney

 

The 29-year-old can never again be allowed to lace on a football boot. Not in the NRL. Ever.

The game has suffered enough in recent months from shameful player behaviour.

Ben Barba was an absolute excitement machine as a player at the Bulldogs and Sharks.

A breathtaking attacking player and a turnstile clicker.

But he'll be remembered for his disgraceful behaviour more than anything else.

 

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